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Oral health care considerations for the pregnant patient:

  • Plan elective dental care during the 2nd trimester.
  • Recognize signs and symptoms of supine hypotension – lightheadedness, tinnitus, restlessness, pallor, sweating, and drop in blood pressure, which can result in syncope and even unconsciousness and convulsions.
  • Supine hypotensive episodes may be reversed during the 3rd trimester by placing the patient on her left side. A rolled-up towel or pillow can be placed below the woman’s right hip.
  • Changing position of the dental chair from a supine to sitting position should be performed slowly.
  • Periodontal therapy during pregnancy is efficacious and safe. There are insufficient data to support the provision of periodontal therapy for the purpose of reducing adverse pregnancy outcomes.
  • Scaling and prophylaxis is safe during pregnancy and will decrease gingival inflammation.
  • Prescribe dental radiographs according to usual and customary selection criteria. Always use high-speed film, proper filtration and collimation, and a lead apron. Always cover the thyroid.
  • Be aware of possible teratogenic effects of medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Any tooth mobility associated with pregnancy will stabilize after childbirth.
  • Pregnancy tumors may be surgically removed but will usually regress spontaneously after the pregnancy.
  • Advise the patient about the risk for caries with different food cravings.
  • Instruct the patient to rinse her mouth with water if she vomits repeatedly.

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